"Mr. Peabody & Sherman"
Music By Danny Elfman
Relativity Music Group
23 Tracks/Disc Time: 50:10
After a weekend dominated by the likes of "300: Rise Of An Empire", "Mr. Peabody & Sherman" held its' own for family viewing and has earned very good reviews all around. The film features of the voice of Ty Burrell of the hit ABC comedy series, "Modern Family" as Mr. Peabody, a business titan, inventor, scientist, gourmand, two-time Olympic medalist and genius...who also happens to be a dog. Using his most ingenious invention, the WABAC machine, Mr. Peabody and his adopted boy Sherman (the voice of Max Charles) hurdle back in time to experience world-changing events first-hand and interact with some of history's greatest characters that include Albert Einstein (featuring the voice of the great Mel Brooks), King Tut, Agamemnon, Mona Lisa, and Leonardo DaVinci. Problems arise when Sherman breaks the rules of time travel, they suddenly find themselves in a race to repair history and save the future, while Mr. Peabody may face his biggest challenge yet - being a parent and Sherman finds a kindred spirit in a girl named Penny Pennington (featuring the voice of Ariel Winter, also of the hit ABC series, "Modern Family"). The film also features the voice talents of Leslie Mann ("This Is 40"), Dennis Haysbert ("The Unit"), Stephen Colbert ("The Stephen Colbert Report"), Lake Bell ("What Happens In Vegas"), and Stanley Tucci ("The Hunger Games")
Aiding to the misadventures of "Mr. Peabody & Sherman" is an animation veteran and one of the more popular composers in film music history and that is the work of Danny Elfman, who for the last twenty-years has become the most prolific composer of every genre imaginable. After a light year last year that saw him score the Oscar nominated films, "American Hustle" and "Epic", Elfman should be back in full force this year and with "Mr. Peabody & Sherman", Elfman is definitely off to a solid start. The score is breath of fresh air that really channels his past works in both "Pee Wee's Big Adventure" and "Back To School" along with Elfman's musical rambunctious style that is always enjoyable.
From the opening track "Mr. Peabody's Prologue" which is obviously inspired by the opening of "Pee Wee's Big Adventure" and "Back To School" only bigger, grander than the original tracks themselves which were really inspired and still are some of my favorite works by Elfman. The rest of the score is a rambunctious roller coaster ride that is fun and filled with lively energy that has been missing somewhat from Elfman's scores of late and exhibited quite nicely in the tracks "Reign of Terror!", "Off To Egypt", "War/Disaster", "The Petersons/Warbac Machine", "The Flying Machine", "The Trojan Horse" and "History Mash-Up" where Elfman exhibits a real musical range that varies from bombastic to full high energy material. Each of these tracks feature some very lively orchestrations in which the moods really do capture the essence of the storyline as well as the predicament of these two characters racing through time. The finale to the score is where Elfman really does shine brightest in the track "Fixing The Rip" that is just pure Elfman in his old style of twenty-years ago with his melodic, dramatic style of today mixed in and with a tongue in firmly in cheek finale, "Back To School" an obvious reprise of the score's melodic tender theme.
Relativity's album is a breezy listen that goes by swiftly and is not exhaustive by any means. Elfman's music is front and center the whole way through and very enjoyable. It doesn't wear out its' welcome too soon and it doesn't repeat itself too much. Elfman also contributes his own song "Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy)" that is sappy, but very effective in the context of the score. It's not the most earth shattering animated score ever written, but it is a good one and alot of fun. "Mr. Peabody & Sherman" is a fun, little listen that features the work one of the best composers still around, Danny Elfman. Very strong affectionate thumbs up!